Flavor Point Diet by Dr. David Katz

If this diet book had been written by anyone else, I would have passed over it without cracking open the cover, assuming it was just another fad diet plan which was was more apt to thin our wallets than our waistlines. After all, the concept does seem gimmicky. The Flavor Point Diet promises that if you limit the flavors you eat each day, your appetite will be satisfied quicker so you’ll eat less and lose weight. The diet plan calls for daily menus titled Pecan Day, Dill Day, Lemon Day, and other flavor themes. You’ll eat a different flavor every day of the plan. This sounds more like a wacky diet from a tabloid. More surprisingly, the diet was developed by Dr. David Katz, a well known weight loss expert. **

What is the Flavor Point?
According to the book: At some point during every eating experience, we all begin to feel full and fulfilled. When you reach that point of fulfillment – what I call the Flavor Point – you stop eating. If you reach the Flavor Point early enough, you will feel full and fulfilled on fewer calories. If you reach the Flavor Point too late, you overeat.

How do you reach the Flavor Point more quickly and fill up on fewer calories? That’s what the Flavor Point Diet is all about. This revolutionary diet taps into this little-known but scientifically proven fact: Flavor variety stimulates the appetite center in your brain, while flavor repetition soothes it. You can eat a variety of flavors over time, but eating too many flavors at any one time puts your brain’s appetite center into overdrive. Let that sink in for a minute. It’s every bit as profound, powerful, and life changing as it is simple. To safely and permanently lose weight without being hungry, you need only organize the flavors in your meals and snacks. Don’t misunderstand me, though. You don’t need to give up flavors. You don’t need to give up specific foods or entire categories of foods. You don’t need to give up the joy of eating delicious food, and you certainly don’t need to give up the convenience of easy-to-prepare foods.

Think of your last Thanksgiving dinner. How many different foods were on the buffet table? And how many did you sample? If you’re like most of us, you didn’t feel satisfied until you tried everything and probably had second helpings on a few favorites. You stuffed yourself silly, then you walked around a while to shake it down and make room for dessert. According to Katz, the more flavors we taste at any one time, the more we need to eat in order to feel satisfied. The fewer flavors we taste, the less we eat and the more satisfied we feel. We’re able to walk away from the plate without the need to unbutton our pants, and without regrets.

The goal of this diet is to learn how to satisfy our appetites on less food. The first method is to organize our foods by flavor and infuse that flavor into each meal. By tasting this flavor repeatedly throughout the day, you quickly satisfy the brain’s appetite center so that you are satisfied quicker and you can fill up on fewer calories. The second method is to learn to cook whole, natural, unprocessed foods that are not filled with an overabundance of flavors.

The Flavor Point Diet provides 6 weeks of diet menus and recipes for you to follow. All of the recipes are simple and quick to prepare, and call for inexpensive ingredients. You won’t have to dip into the college fund and shop in the gourmet department to stay on plan. Breakfast may be muffins or a smoothie. Lunches often include soups or whole grain salads. Dinner is usually a simple chicken or fish recipe, with a salad and a whole grain.

Flavor of the Day
Each daily menu will concentrate on just one flavor, or theme. On Lemon day, for example, you will eat lemon poppyseed muffins for breakfast, and lemon yogurt for a morning snack. You’ll have lemon tabbouleh salad for lunch, and a lemon-orange smoothie for your afternoon snack. Dinner will include tilapia with lemon chives and capers, asparagus with lemon peel, baked fries, and a salad. If you have room for dessert, you can have a bowl of blueberries with lemon peel. Recipes for each meal are included, and most look like they would be easy to adapt for one serving if you are dining alone. It actually sounds delicious, balanced, and easy. Daily themes include a wide variety of flavors including spinach, onions, apples, mint, and even pumpkin. On Pumpkin day, you’ll enjoy a pumpkin and chocolate panini!

You’ll follow the daily flavor theme for the first four weeks of the plan. During weeks 5 and 6, you’ll narrow your flavors down to meals instead of days. You may have a lemon breakfast, a basil lunch, and an almond dinner. By this point, you’ve become more in control of your appetite. There are enough menus and recipes to cover you for the first six weeks. After week 6, you should be well in control and confident enough to apply what you’ve learned to your own menus. You can still use the delicious recipes as often as you wish.

Weight Loss Express
Each daily menu provides two options – Regular and Weight Loss Express (WLE). The regular plan includes approximately 1500 calories per day. The WLE version contains about 1200 to 1300 calories, and is recommended if you want to lose weight a little bit faster, or if you find that the regular plan contains too much food for you. The differences between the two may be having a smoothie instead of cereal for breakfast, or snacking on carrots instead of baked corn chips.

When we first heard the idea behind this diet, we were not sure what to think. After reading the book, we think it might just make sense. Even if you don’t agree with the idea behind it, the diet plan is still balanced, calorie controlled, and very healthy. The recipes are easy, yet full of flavor, and call for everyday, inexpensive ingredients. You’ll be walked through every day of the plan for a full six weeks. Katz even includes a list of recommended food brands and products, so you won’t have to second guess anything.

Sample Recipe:
2 portabello mushrooms, sliced
2 slices whole grain bread
1 Tbsp. oil packed julienned sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp. Gorgonzola cheese
alfalfa sprouts to taste

Coat a cast iron grill pan with olive oil spray. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat for a few minutes on each side until tender. Place the mushrooms on 1 slice of bread; top with the tomatoes, cheese and sprouts, and add the second slice of bread.

Serves 1. Contains 236 calories, 5 grams fat, 11 grams protein, 41 grams carbs, 14 grams fiber.

Fitness Factor: Barely a mention in the book. Katz tells us to exercise 30 minutes a day most days of the week, and try to do some weight resistance exercises. This is briefly mentioned on one page of the book.
Pros: Balanced nutrition, should be easy to stick to. The food plan is affordable and easy to prepare.
Cons: It might seem monotonous at times.
Who this diet is best for: This diet is perfect for someone that is looking for a structured weight loss plan that has everything laid out for them.

**Dr. David L. Katz is an Associate Professor of Public Health and directs the Yale Prevention Research Center which he co-founded in 1998. Katz is an Internist and Preventive Medicine specialist, and serves as consulting nutrition expert and columnist to O, the Oprah Magazine.


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  • Vicki Prindle

    I’ve been on the diet for about 10 days. The recipes are delicious! My family is enjoying the meals as much as I am. I haven’t been really hungry even though the portions are smaller than I would usually eat. I look forward every day to see what I’ll be eating for that day. I’ve lost about 5 pounds so far and it really seems almost effortless. The hardest thing has been making the grocery list and making sure I get everything I need for the week. That’s a little time consuming, but definitely worth it. Thank you for a diet that is finally doable!